How safe is a safari in Kenya

Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:15 PM
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How safe is a safari in Kenya

My husband and I are planning to go to Kenya and Tanzania on a 14 day safari with Friendly Planet. I read the US State Dept. warning and it is a bit scary. Has anyone been there recently and how safe is it? Also has anyone gone with Friendly Planet?
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:50 PM
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Well I was in Zimbabwe 3 months ago with my family and I was fine, no problems at all, so compared with that you will have no problems at all in Kenya. The only place in Kenya that I donīt like is Nairobi, but as long you use your commmon sense you will be fine. And the travel warnings regarding Kenya have been there for years.
So Ruth be a rebel and just go
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 04:22 AM
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I went on safari to Kenya and Tanzania in May/June 2007 without any problems. This was my first trip to Africa.As my travel agent told me: Once you are out of the cities, you will be as safe as anywhere else in the world. This is true. It's awesome, get out there and have fun.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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We felt very safe in Kenya this past month, with no problems in Nairobi or anywhere else. But one thing I did want to mention is driving conditions -- we saw several serious accidents on the drive between Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara, both head-on collisions and both involving safari vehicles and tourists. One of these accidents was fatal (we saw two bodies at the site), and I'm not sure about the other but there were a lot of people standing around crying and in shock. It was extremely upsetting, to say the least, and obviously a tragedy for all involved. We did remind our driver (who was generally very good and careful, by the way) that we were not at all in a hurry to get anywhere and he should just take his time and not worry about passing other vehicles. But we could tell that many drivers were trying to make these rough road trips between parks as quickly as possible, sometimes at the expense of safety, and there are a lot of big trucks on the roads, too.

This is not at all to warn people against taking driving safaris (it was a really wonderful way to see the country outside of the national parks). I'm only mentioning it because when people asked us about how "safe" it was to travel in East Africa, there always seemed to be more emphasis on crime and the political situation than on what I think are more real risks, such as road accidents. And of course, that's a risk you take in traveling to any country. Just something to think about.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Check this index for recent trips that include Kenya and the glowing comments made.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34860283

The State Dept warning has been in effect for many years and continues to be updated every 6 months.

Numerous responsible, reliable companies have fully booked trips to Kenya--Globus, Brendan, A&K, Tauk, Natural Habitat, Wilderness Travel to name a few. They do not want problems for their clients.

Kenya is experiencing record numbers of visitors from all over the world. I have a Kenya trip in the works, though it is a little ways off.

I agree with the above posters that Kenya is fine. It offers unique safari opportunities. But if the warning is insurmountable for you and you are still interested in East Africa, you could go to Tanzania. South Africa is another good first time safari destination in my opinon.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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As mentioned, those warnings have been appearing (about every 6/mo) since the '98 Embassy bombings. Except for the period after 9/11/01 thru the '03 season, tourism was down as few people were traveling here or elsewhere.

The numbers are back and few visitors, especially those who post here, have found that much of the caution was overblown - the US govt is into freightening their citizens regarding most everything. No matter where one travels these days, you just have to be aware of your surroundings, whether in cities or out in the bush.

Nairobi is a big city with lots of traffic, much of which doesn't adhere to red lights, but people get about and visiting here is just that... a big city, with lots of traffic and vehicle fumes. Traffic accidents can happen in city or on the roads and in the bush, so speed limits and caution are required... same as elsewhere.


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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Thank you all for the information. It was scarry talking to the State Dept. representative. I checked the Canadian and British alerts and they said to be careful. Our government says not to go. Based on everything written, we will book. We've travelled the world and know to be careful.
Has anyone done one of these safaris with Friendly Planet?
Thanks again for your feedback.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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There is a danger of sunstroke so near the equator. Apply lots of lotion, remembering the back of your hands, use a high SPF lip balm, and wear a hat.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Regarding Friendly Planet, we did not go on a trip with them but friends did. These were there comments.
1. The vehicles were old and very crowded when traveling between sights.
2. On one leg the van for the luggage was not there so everyone had to have all of their stuff on their laps for the entire very long ride.
3. There were more people on the trip than originally promised.

You must realize that this is a very budget trip. If you do not mind the inconveniences then the animals do not know where you are staying or how you got there. I would check some other suppliers.
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